Special notes for certain champions
Every champion has a unique style, so I'll be giving some tips here and there so you can play your champion more effectively.
Let's start off with
Nami, the tidecaller.
Nami is weak in lane since it's easy to dodge her Q (Aqua Prison). It's mainly trying to zone and let your AD get the farm. Nami works really good with Kog'Maw, Vayne and Draven. During teamfights, buff and heal as much as possible. You have relatively low cooldowns so you should be okay. Your Q should be able to catch out some people trying to escape.
The heal (W, Surging Tides) only works multiple times when it bounces. In case you cast in on an ally but no enemy is near, you and another nearby ally won't get healed by it. Same goes for harassing. If you cast Surging Tides on an enemy but no ally (including you) is near, it won't bounce on towards another nearby enemy.
- Since Q (Aqua Prison) is easy to dodge, use it in the brush/fog of war
I've stated before you should start Fearie charm, 2 Sight wards, 2 Health pots and a Vision ward. This works for zoning and keeping brush control. If you cast an ability in the fog of war / in a brush, the enemy will see the bubble come later so it'll be harder to dodge.
You can also use E (Tidecaller's blessing) first outside of a brush to slow so you can cast the Aqua Prison in a brush to make it a bit easier to stun.
- Use your E (Tidecaller's Blessing) while harassing
If you use this skill on yourself or your teammate will it will grant some extra damage and slow the target. The slow might help putting some extra harass down, but it's mainly for the extra damage. Besides, the cooldown and mana cost of the E aren't causing any troubles either.
- Your ult can be used to force fights
In case the opposing team is doing Dragon or Baron, your team usually gets near it but doesn't initiate. With your ult, you can force a fight. The opposing team can stay in the pit but will get hit or come out and have to fight against your team after being harassed by Dragon/Baron. It doesn't matter if you'll miss your ult. You've forced a fight which you should win now.
- Keep casting on your allies while chasing
Your passive grants movement speed on the casted allied champion. When chasing someone down, spam heal and the blessing to keep chasing. You can buff yourself as well to put exhaust on the target. Don't forget that your E slows as well with each AA, so you should preferably do this on your ADC or Top.
- Twin Shadows is a really good item for Nami
Nami is all about chasing and catching people, especially with her ult and passive. If you have the item
Twin Shadows, chasing should be easier and you can fix more kills for your team. I recommend taking it first, but sometimes you have to build something else because of the situation of the match.
Zyra, rise of the thorns.
Zyra is extremely aggressive early game yet extremely squishy. She usually is picked for kill lanes. She has good synergy with Ezreal, Corki, Graves, Draven and Miss Fortune. Actually anything that can go aggressive. Even though Ashe is a passive champion early game, Zyra Ashe is a really good combination on the bottom lane.
- Poke with your Auto Attack
You have a lot of range on your AA. This is really good versus melee champions like Taric and Leona so they will get irritated. Eventually when they are so irritated they will start initiation on you. This is good since your snare will be able to lock down their AD carry and be able to outplay them. It's basically the same as with Lulu's E and Q.
Pickpocket may be considered on Zyra, but it's more like a little treat than that it actually pays off.
Your Q costs way too much mana to use it as harass. It doesn't even deal much damage. Save it for when you manage to hit E. You should be able to spam E all the time with at least one seed. You actually only use Q to pop the seeds that didn't get popped by your E - but it's nice that it deals little damage as well. You can often use it to zone them out - but I just wouldn't spam the skill.
- Use snare first, then spam seeds
If you use seeds first they will know you're going to snare - they even might bait your snare. The best way to get your opponents stuck is to snare first (preferably from a brush) and then spam seeds on them. The chance they will see the snare coming will be lower than when you spam seeds first.
- Save 2 seeds when you're going for a kill
2 Seeds will feel like 3x as much damage. You can keep snaring+Q and all, just don't use your seeds if you're going for a kill in the future. Situations like this can be a gank or when your AD's ultimate is ready.
- Your seeds provide vision
No more face-checking, hooray! When you're warding in an area without vision spam your seeds in brushes you don't have vision on. If you see an enemy with it you will have plenty of time to either run away or engage on them.
- Don't be afraid to 'waste' your ult
Your ultimate has such a low cooldown, you actually cannot waste it. On early levels it will deal a lot of base damage as well. First you try to Snare -> Seeds -> Ultimate -> Q and either AutoAttack or walk away if you get harassed/focussed. Your AD and/or teammates should be able to do a lot with this burst of CC.
At level 16, your ultimate will have a cooldown of 66 seconds.
You just can't call it a waste when you use it (unless you randomly do it of course lol).
- Use 'S' to cancel the shooting of your passive
"Oh noez I clicked somewhere I don't want to shoot at!" Just hit 'S'. It will stop shooting, allowing you to target something else. You can also spam other abilities to shoot your passive another way (you can only aim once with each spell though).
Oh, you can spam /L and /T as well in your passive form. So feel free to do that and stuff.
Whether it's a turret hit or jungle creeps - they can tank nicely. The turrets will favor your plants over minions, so you'll be able to push even harder. I usually put my plants behind the tower so they will attack the incoming minion wave before they get hit by the turret. Even though it can only tank one turret hit, it saves 50 to 70% of a minion's health - you can basically push harder this way. Especially with
Banner of Command.
Soraka, the starchild.
- Do not buy Ability Power on her.
Soraka can heal 350 Health when she's level 9. Since she doesn't have to do more damage than that, try not to get Ability Power with your runes and masteries. And no, you do not need to damage a lot with Starcall either - it's more for the effect they receive (magic resist reduction, stacks).
- Do not level Starcall until laning phase has ended
If you level your E (infuse (mana)) instead the AD carry can spam way more skills, making them afraid and you winning the lane. There do are exceptions who do not need the mana maxed like Vayne and Twisted Fate. You could level Starcall on level 4 in that case, do not spam it though - you'll only push your lane. As a passive support this usually isn't the best way. You don't have escapes and cannot force aggression well compared to other supports.
Your silence will last longer as well. Do tell your carry you didn't learn Starcall so (s)he can spam dem skillz. It also gives some more harass presence during laning but. ...it also makes AD Swain viable (seriously, try it. It's so much fun).
You don't really need to zone the opponents with Starcall either, you can compete by standing in the brushes with your AD carry as 'bodyguard' (like "Don't get close to my support or I'll harass you").
And after all, your AD carry cannot do anything with magic resist reduction anyway.
- Your silence lasts 2.5 second when maxed!
When trying to towerdive or in a fight, silence the one which could harm your team the most (like Vladimir, Sona with her ulti (especially when diving!), Katarina if she ults, Fizz, etc). Two and a half second is really long and might save your team a lot of damage.
Keep in mind to save your only CC for interrupts like Katarina and Nunu their ult.
Janna, the storm's fury
Seriously, when you see your AD is having trouble last-hitting because the minions just keep having 1 HP, you can give them more AD so their job is easier. Shielding neither costs a lot of mana and prevents harass. Try to predict though when they want to harass so you can intercept them.
- Whirlwind can interrupt initiates like Leona's E and Alistar's W
Even though Alistar's W is harder to see than Leona's E, you can interrupt the initiation by quickly double-tapping Q into their direction. Leona and Alistar will actually fly pretty high into the air so you can get a grin off that as well. You can become a true counter if you just keep your eyes peeled.
- You don't always have to ult every teamfight.
Your ult can win but also lose your teamfight. It's a risk you will need to take. The safest way to ult though is to stand behind your teammates and give them that AOE healing without knocking anyone back.
Remember though that you are the bodyguard of the AD carry. If you see a lot of people try to come near your carry you can always knock them away with your ult. It doesn't matter if your top, mid and jungler were fighting with someone. You carry mostly does most of the damage and needs to be safe.
- You can use your ult as extra CC
This is extremely useful during laning phase. When you're in a fight and you see they try to run away, you can use your ult as extra CC to smash them against the wall.
They will get knocked back to your AD carry and stunned for a short time. It is the perfect situation for your carry to finish them off. After using your ult your other spells (like your Q and W) should be off cooldown quickly so they cannot run away anymore. Don't forget your exhaust as well if you've taken it (which is really recommended on Janna).
- Experiment with CV-Exhaust
Janna is really, really fast with level one boots already. Her passive and masteries make her that quick that she usually can just fly away from nearly any situation. Since you have CV you shouldn't have any problems with people waiting for you to ward.
I do recommend the level 5 boots (boots of Mobility) on her so she can really just fly away.
Blitzcrank, the great steam golem
"No GP10/Sightstone"? No. Blitzcrank has insane mana problems and a tear will help you out to dominate the early game. Not is it only helping you out with the mana problems, the mana you're stacking is good for your passive as well (the mana barrier). Your shield will be getting bigger and bigger throughout the game while you are spamming Q's all over the place. It's worth taking it as first item.
- Sometimes no grab is the best grab
People fear you. People don't want to get grabbed because they get in trouble. Trying to bluff will make them move back and wait for your move. If you don't make that move, they (usually) will try to either attack you or move back. This is where the brush comes in. Get a pink ward and dominate the second brush in the lane. If people don't know when to expect the grab, they will play safe.
If you do see the chance to grab, take it. However, if you miss you will get a lot of aggro for 15 seconds. They might want to engage/turn on you.
- Missing your hooks? Powerfist first
Activate your W and run into them with your E charged. if they jump/dash/flash away, you can hook them back and finish the job. Be careful though: If they're stronger than you by default you'll lose the trade in the end and maybe even get killed. Also take note that the minions will deal a lot of damage early game.
Credits to ESGFlip / Flibbl for inventing this. Actually viable as well.
Smite on Beep boop will pretty sure make everybody surprised. "Why the hell do you pick smite on support?!1" Well...
1: Easy golems / invade
Usually when taking golems one of you are taking a lot of damage and have to pop a potion. With smite the chance that you will have to pop a pot will be significantly lower.
You can also try to invade their blue/red and grab/smite steal it from the jungler. Usually their jungler wants their first buff smiteless so this should be easy to get. Try to get an explorer ward at their buff at around 1:38 since they're usually doing wolves/wraiths at that time.
2: The smite-grab
Pretty much self-explaining, but you smite the minion between you and your target before you grab (or while you grab). People usually counter-play Blitzcrank by standing behind a minion. If you smite that minion, their cover is blown. You should try to make them get tower-aggro or close to a wall so your ADC can put a lot of CC on him as well.
3: Easy dragons
No more contesting since you have two smites and the enemy team only one. You just have to communicate when you're smiting so your jungler can follow up.
Alternatively, you can duo dragon with your ADC and smite yourself.
4: Pushing your lane
Smiting the cannon minion usually just isn't enough to kill it, but your ADC can last-hit it. Killing the cannon minion will have a big advantage on your wave since they're taking way less damage now. This should allow your wave to push harder.
- Activate your ult before you clear Baron wards
Nothing is worse than getting the Baron triggered because of the passive of your ult. Since the cooldown is about 26 seconds, you can easily burn it to make sure you can clear the wards without getting unnecessary damage. Oh and it will stack your tear, too.
You could do this for Dragon as well when you're low on level (therefore early game).
Sona, maven of the strings
- Try maxing your Q if the lane is in favor
Sona always has a good backup heal whenever the lane is not in favor of winning. Be aware as well that she's very mana hungry and hasn't got much armor, so don't spam your skills showing your face all the time.
Especially do this since her Q has been buffed. The mana cost of her Q is so low that it's really useful in poking the enemy. Make sure to charge her powerchord at base so you can put it to use as soon as you come back.
Sona is incredibly strong with flash when it comes to ultying the enemy.
- Flash-ult when the jungler come to gank
They don't expect a flash at all and with a good AOE stun your carry and jungler should be able to finish them off.
If you don't like wasting your flash you could try to use your E (speed), but then they'll see it coming and might get away with it.
- Remember that you have 3 different types of power chords
These powerchords include:
Q: More damage
W: Damage reduction on target
If you don't have your ult ready when the jungler comes, make sure your powerchord is ready so you can slow the target. The slow forces the target to flash or try walking away slowly or fight while he still can. The damage reduction do is low though, so don't rely on that powerchord.
If you see that the target is low on health (like 15% or less), do not use your damage powerchord or you WILL 'secure' the kill (except if you don't have a choice of course).
The powerchord of the Q you're maxing has an extra AD and AP bonus of 20, so it's smart to lane with champions who both are AP and AD dependent like Kog'Maw, Ezreal and Corki. The damage output will be so harsh for them that they barely can do a thing in return. Keep the pressure on and even Soraka can't keep the sustain.
When running away as a group, only try to speed up. Do not heal in the meantime. The aura of your speed also grants extra movement speed. With this you can make sure you get away safely. You do can heal if you already have a big advantage comparing to the distance of you and the enemy.
During the poking session, try switching between the aura of the extra armor and MR (your W) and the AD and AP bonus (your Q).
This makes poking and getting poked more favorable for your team, perhaps making the difference as well. When switching to your Q's aura, you don't have to make sure to hit an enemy. Because when you get caught, you're probably dead (due to your low armor and their high damage output). You only have to hit Q to switch auras, not to harass them.
Alistar, the minotaur
You will not get out of mana for spamming the heal, you only get oom by spamming the Q and W. If you max your heal first (which you should) the sustain in the lane will be just fine. Do keep your mana above 150 so you can always do your combo no matter what.
- Headbutt enemies against a wall
If you do so, they still are stunned and on a right position to take damage. If you see they're out of your stun THEN use your pulverize for maximum stun effect. This mainly secures the kill - don't forget exhaust as well if you're really going for the kill.
- Don't be afraid to towerdive
You still have your ulti. It reduces at least 50% of the incoming AD and AP damage. Let yourself tank the turret. You can still use your CC and wait for the AD carry when the job is done. Do stand at the border of the turret range when you still have to tank it. You will be able to get out of turret aggro just in time when your health drops low.
This counts for every champion if you're going to dive. But with Alistar you can do this somewhat the easiest with your ultimate on.
Please do keep in mind that the jungler might come because you're towerdiving, so I recommend diving when your jungler or AP carry is on your lane as well (or when you have vision where they are). After killing, consider counter-jungling or taking other objectives like Dragon.
Good items on Alistar, the cow:
Leona, the radiant dawn
Leona is really fun to play when you need to go aggressive. She's extremely good against Soraka, Lulu, Sona and Nunu. It's really fun to play her when your AD is either Corki or Tristana.
- Go aggressive early game.
When you go passive early game they won't be fearing you anymore. YOU are the bully, YOU have 3 stuns and can easily help your carry to kills. There are exceptions of course. Do not randomly engage versus an Alistar or Blitzcrank or you will be punished. Also watch out for Taric with his stun for your AD carry.
If you do play passive the opposing team will go aggressive on you. You will get poked to death and eventually get ganked just because you weren't able to scare them off.
The cooldown on the ulti varies from 35 to 70 seconds depending on level and CDR. Even though those numbers vary, it's still really low which means you can use it a lot. If you see an opportunity to engage (and have enough vision to realize you're not getting ganked(!)), you can engage by using your ult (which is barely miss-able) so you can get your carry fed.
- Roaming is good from level 6
When either your AD carry has gone back to base or is absolutely fine in his lane you could try to either gank mid or help your jungler with counter-jungling. Your ult has a short cooldown and a ridiculous long range. Abuse this. When ganking mid they won't expect the ult because they can't see you when you cast your ultimate. After casting it you are able to charge in and even stun/exhaust some more, granting the mid champion on your team some extra boost with the kill while your AD carry on bot gets 100% experience.
Do make sure you've warded everything (and are not expiring soon) when you're about to roam. When their jungler is ganking bottom your carry will probably not survive the 1v3 fight which basically will be your fault. Neither start roaming when they have a Blitzcrank, another Leona, Taric or Alistar. Your carry will be zoned too hard and even might get killed.
Nunu, the Yeti rider
- You don't really have to go aggressive
The point of Nunu is that the AD carry can farm better than theirs because of the buff you're giving (similar to a Beserker's Greaves). Stay back and make sure your AD can farm well (so isn't getting harassed). You still can try to zone but don't expect to win trades.
It is recommended if the AD carry builds Wriggle's Lantern first. When your AD has it, it cannot be stopped from farming. Oh and keep spamming the buff. Your AD will likes buffs.
Also, when you finally have your ult (and Philisopher's Stone as well), you do can force them to get zoned since you can spam your iceball way more than with just the Faerie Charm (+3 mana regen).
When they engage back, use your ult (movement speed reduction, damage and attack speed reduction too stronk).
- Use your ult to punish greedy people
After you fought a bit your AD or teammate usually runs back and you might still be ready to fight. When this happens, the opposing team might get greedy and will do anything to get to your teammate. When channeling, their greediness will get punished in such a hard way that they might even get killed since they will ignore you.
Before you ult in an open fight, make sure all the CC is gone, especially AoE CC like silences. There is nothing more bad than a random Blitzcrank cancelling your ult because he felt like pressing R for the lulz.
Also keep in mind that your ultimate is feared and will ZONE people of the opposing team. This might be very big advantage to force 5v3 (or even less) fights when not interrupted. This usually wins teamfights as well. Extremely good when forcing Dragon or Baron Nashor.
This. Is. So. Fun. (... if it works out)
When getting chased, this usually is THE opportunity to launch your ult. Make sure your AD/Team knows you're channeling so they can get into it so make the hell happen. Your ult doesn't really do a lot of damage late game as support, but it's still good for it's slow, attack speed reduction and extremely good zoning of opponents.
Before the minions even spawn I usually rush to their Wraiths camp and put a ward at the brush near the tower (where you walk from the towers to the Wraith camp). This way you can see if anyone is guarding it. In the meantime before the Wraiths spawn you can hide in the brush between the river and red buff like on the screen below:
Level Q (Consume) when you're sure you can steal the Wraith. I usually do this when I'm about to eat. If you weren't able to, either level W or E depending on your preference.
When you're on the purple side, you can steal the small Golem or big Wraith with consume + iceball.
And when you're on the blue side, you can steal his big wolf.
You don't really have to ward all the time to see their jungler coming. Just make sure you do it fast. You won't be missing experience either because the jungle give pretty much experience from itself. Just quickly eat and return to lane. Don't be afraid to get chased down by the jungler. Your movement speed buff is too stronk.
Lulu, the fae sorceres
- Max either W or E depending on (lane) opponents
I usually try to max E (shield) when I'm playing as Lulu, but sometimes you might have very aggressive/bursty (lane) opponents against you. These usually are champions like Leona, Taric, Alistar and Blitzcrank together with an AD Carry like Graves, Tristana and Corki. Sometimes it could be their mid like Diana who could need a very long disable.
When I have an aggressive lane like that I like to max W. What will actually happen in the lane is that (for example) Taric initiates with the stun and (also an example) Tristana will jump on your carry to do the burst, resulting in a kill. With your Polymorph maxed you will disable her bursting abilities by 1.5 to 2.5 seconds depending how much it has been maxed. Even though 1.5 seconds are long already, this will definitely give your AD carry the option to either run away safely or burst their AD down.
Don't forget you have exhaust as well. In case your AD carry is going for the kill, exhaust theirs when the polymorph effect is off.
- Use units to extend your slowing range
Sometimes you are chasing an enemy champion and just can't reach your slow. In that case look for minions, jungle creeps or allied champions to use your E on so you can slow via them. It might be hard to think of when you're practicing this, but when you get the hang of it it really turns out into your favor.
- Your ultimate is a good heal-bait
Nothing is better than to see them diving because you or your ally was low on HP. In this case it's time to use your ult which gives 300/450/600 HP depending how much it has been maxed. That is a lot of health. It also gives some nice knockup as CC. When you have exhaust as well you can make sure they won't make it out alive anymore.
- Your ultimate also is good for CC
When your tank is initiating (like Malphite) you can use your ult as well to make the CC on them even last longer. Your ult shouldn't be primarily used as CC, but it sure has potential in teamfights to do so. It also makes your tank bigger and might even 'absorb' more damage because people tend to click on him instead.
Thresh, the chain warden.
Thresh is an extremely interesting support champion. He has a lot of CC, good poke damage and is able to help his team out on long range. Thresh works best on purple side
when playing him as bottom support due to the ganking potentials. You will be able to throw your lantern to tribrush and river (perhaps even from river). Some tips:
- Get a vision ward early game
Vision wards increase your presence in the lane. Even though that sounds obvious, you will be able to pick up souls easier due to the fact that they won't be able to see you in the brush. Therefore they have to back off - maybe there's your jungler in it. You can pick up souls in a different way as well, which leads me to my next tip:
- You can use your lantern to collect souls
It's a bit of a risk though using your 22 seconds cooldown skill to collect a few souls. Your lantern could've been used as well to provide a shield or to (de)initiate. Sometimes it could be useful though, like when you are getting pushed. Since souls are really strong early game, it's still something to consider about.
- Aim your pull to where you think they will go
People usually are aware that you are trying to pull, they can even see the windup with easy. Because of this, either get a vision ward in a brush or aim where you think they are going to. People usually are tempted to move back to their tower than to dash away.
Another thing that can help is to run towards then and E first. Your E slows so your pull should be easier to hit this way. Because you've ran towards your target, your ADC will most-likely follow up. Once you hit that hook you should be able to get the kill.
- You can obtain the shield twice with 1 cast
After walking out of the range of your lantern, you and nearby allies will obtain a refreshed shield. So when you're trying to run away or nobody has clicked your lantern, you can still get the second shield for you and your team.
- Use your shield as an extra Locket of the Iron Solari
Since you max your shield second, it prevents a lot of damage for your team during a teamfight. Before initiating, everyone usually is stacked. With this you can easily shield all your members before they go in. You can even use
Locket as an extra shield as well for maximum protection. You don't have to be afraid to pull anyone back since your lantern should be up again when you need it.
- Tips for allies to click on your lantern
If you want your team to click on the it, make sure your lantern isn't standing on an enemy
- your allies won't be able to click on it. They will attack the target instead.
Often it could help to say in chat "Remember to click on my lantern" as soon as the game starts.
Throwing the lantern when they actually need it reminds them of clicking it as well. People who are running are constantly searching for escape routes/mechanics (like flash, etc). Throwing your lantern will most likely help them.
If you throw your lantern at spawn they will most likely on the lantern. It favors them to get back to the lane quicker and reminds them as well that you can save them in the future with a lantern.
Last tip for this subject: Throw your lantern where they are moving to.
If you throw it on them when they run away, he has to move back to the enemy to grab the lantern. A simple Taric stun or something could lock down and kill your ally then.